Wladimir Klitschko vs. Ruslan Chagaev: Predictions

The Franchise says...

Well, this isn't the heavyweight title fight we were expecting, but it's the one we're getting.

Once David Haye dropped out of his shot against Wladimir Klitschko with an injury, Wlad's people made a nice recovery to nab Ruslan Chagaev as an opponent. If The Ring rankings are your thing, it's an even better fight than the one originally scheduled, since it will be for the magazine's heavyweight championship.

Even though not many people gave Haye a chance to win, things got a lot less interesting from an entertainment standpoint once his trash talking and mind games went away. As The Ring's Michael Rosenthal pointed out after watching the final open workout, there isn't much Chagaev can do but be grateful for this opportunity after his fight with Nikolai Valuev was canceled after he tested positive for hepatitis B.

Chagaev will be in shape, putting him a leg up on most short notice replacements. He's also dealt with very large men before, handing Valuev his lone loss back in 2007. And perhaps he'll catch Klitschko a little less revved up emotionally since Wlad isn't trying to shut Haye's mouth.

Those are Chagaev's chances in a nutshell, because everything else favors Klitchko. He's got more weapons in the arsenal, more power and more experience against top (for this era anyway) competition.

Until someone can get inside without eating Wlad's dangerous right hands and really test the big guy's chin, he'll continue either winning boring decisions from the outside or knocking guys out once they get a little loose with their defense. I don't think Chagaev is up to the task, so I'm taking Klitschko by late KO.

Posted by The Franchise

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